Connect with us


Dan’s Daily: Penguins Find Confidence? Fleury Returns to Vegas



Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel

The Pittsburgh Penguins have more company in the Eastern Conference wild-card battle. The Buffalo Sabres decided to return to the party and beat the New York Rangers Friday. The Penguins made a prospects trade, and for PHN+ subscribers, we asked Sidney Crosby what was different in the third period Thursday compared to past meltdowns. The Calgary Flames aren’t dead yet and are making a valiant late charge for the Western Conference wild card, and TSN engaged in a debate that may interest Penguins fans.

I read Spector’s Hockey every day and have for 15 years. It still cracks me up when I see a Penguins headline and click on it, only to see him reviewing one of my stories. “Latest on Penguins Summer” was the headline, so I dove in and found my highly critical analysis of the team.

Lyle Richardson is Spector, so a stick tap to him for frequently reviewing, posting, and commentary on National Hockey Now stories.

Not that anyone cares, but I decided to watch the Rangers and Sabres game Friday evening, only to fall asleep by 8 p.m. and not wake up until the 6 a.m. alarm to do the Daily. I suppose this season has been draining for all of us! And yes, I’m a wild man sleeping away a Friday night. The 20-year-old Dan would have thrown a fit … but that was 1996.

Pittsburgh Penguins / Steelers, Pirates (Sports Now Group)

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Prospects trade. I can gather from the deal the Penguins were not going to sign Judd Caufield, who just completed his tenure at UND. Penguins trade.

The Penguins 2019 Draft isn’t as cursed as the 2017 draft class, but it quickly enters the pantheon of bad Penguins drafts. The 2017 Penguins draft class produced zero NHL games anywhere. If you Google ‘Penguins 2017 Draft Class’, our story is atop the page. If the Penguins had not just won back-to-back Cups, that class would have brought heavy scrutiny upon the management team. It was awful. (It was also immediately obvious to those of us who covered the following rookie camp).

Back to the present day…

PHN+: We asked Sidney Crosby what changed Thursday. The Penguins played a confident, (mostly) solid third period. Those third periods have only been the bane of their existence and are the key to the Penguins’ season.

Jan Rutta was at practice, and Marcus Pettersson skated Friday in Cranberry. The Sabres have one game in hand and are five points behind the Penguins. Rookie goalie Ryan Levi turned in a gem as Buffalo beat the Rangers in OT.

Florida Hockey Now: The Panthers remain one point back of the Penguins. Florida has Columbus on the schedule tonight, while the Penguins have Boston. Yikes. Anton Lundell is also heating up at the right time for the Florida Panthers.

Steelers Now:

Ike Taylor and Steelers scouts were at Florida pro day. Here’s the safety they locked into — Steelers Draft prospects.

A pair of linemen, one DL, and one versatile OL will visit the Steelers today.

So, how do all of the new additions fit together on the Steelers’ defense?

Pittsburgh Baseball Now:

PBN+: “Z” got a memorable win in the Pittsburgh Pirates opener.

Ji-Hwan Bae gave just a glimpse into why the Pirates’ prospects will be vital this year.

NHL News & National Hockey Now

Vegas Hockey Now: Minnesota visits Vegas today. Owen Krepps took a stroll down memory lane  — reliving Marc-Andre Fleury’s best moments with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Calgary Hockey Now: First comeback win of the season. Calgary is two points back of Winnipeg. It’s a hot race for the Calgary Flames.

TSN: I know some Penguins fans like to revisit history. And this is the perfect segment for you.

Look, the Derrick Brassard trade was excellent. It didn’t work, but the Penguins’ GM did everything right. Filip Gustavsson–the Penguins goalie prospect in the deal–has been a sieve until this season. Five years later, he’s a No. 1 goalie, but Ottawa traded him to Minnesota for Cam Talbot. Should Ottawa want a do-over?

Sportsnet: The Winnipeg Jets are clinging to the Western Conference wild card. Friday, coach Rick Bowness put his lines in a blender and hit puree. It worked, and the Jets routed Detroit (*ahem, Penguins).

Detroit Hockey Now: Steve Yzerman’s plan to rebuild the Red Wings might be a season behind. His summer acquisitions, including Dominik Kubalik, have paid off for the Detroit Red Wings.